Geneva, 23 May 2018 - Realizing the vision of a world free of malaria will only be possible alongside the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC). That was the main message conveyed by ministers and other senior health officials at a side event held on the occasion of the 71st World Health Assembly – the annual meeting of WHO’s decision-making body.
Seven decades, seven voices in the global malaria fight This year’s World Malaria Day coincides with activities to commemorate the 70th anniversary of WHO. The Global Malaria Programme is marking the Day with a series of interviews with leaders and advocates in the global malaria response, as they reflect on key moments in fighting this disease over the past 7 decades.
Since 2000, India has made major inroads in reducing the toll of malaria. But the path towards elimination has proven a challenge in the eastern state of Odisha, which carries more than 40% of the country’s malaria burden. In recent years, the state government has dramatically scaled up efforts to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria – with impressive results seen in a short span of time
Member countries comprising Greater Mekong subregion - Cambodia, China, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam – adopted a call for action on 8 December 2017, to accelerated action to eliminate malaria by the year 2030. The call comes amid concern over resistance of malaria parasites to antimalarial drugs, including artemisinin—the core compound of the best available antimalarial medicines. To date, resistance has been detected in five of the six GMS countries. The best way to address the threat posed by drug resistance is to eliminate malaria altogether from the countries of the Mekong.
December 2017 – The World Malaria Report 2017 provides a comprehensive overview of progress in the fight against malaria. It includes an up-to-date assessment of malaria-related policies in endemic countries, as well as the latest WHO recommendations on malaria prevention and control. It looks at the impact of malaria interventions on the disease burden, tracks progress towards global targets and elimination, and reviews financial resource commitments and financial gaps. The report is based on information received from national malaria control programmes and other partners in endemic countries.
29 November 2017 - Health ministers, representatives of Member States and development partners from across the WHO South-East Asia Region gathered in New Delhi for a special, high-level meeting on eliminating malaria from the WHO South-East Asia Region by 2030.
2 June 2017 – Health ministers from the South-East Asia Region and development partners gathered last week in Geneva to celebrate the achievement of malaria elimination in the Maldives and Sri Lanka. The event, co-hosted by the two countries alongside the 70th World Health Assembly, provided a platform to share best practices, strategies and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating progress across the Region.
While important gains in malaria control have been reported in many countries, more work is needed to eliminate the disease region-wide. Speaking at the event on 22 May, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, said: “This is a public health problem that WHO South-East Asia faces that just cannot be ignored. More than 230 million people in the Region are still at high risk of malaria – close to a quarter of the world’s high-risk population.”
Colombo, 5 September 2016 – Sri Lanka’s achievement is truly remarkable. In the mid-20th century it was among the most malaria-affected countries, but now it is malaria-free.
Sri Lanka’s road to elimination was tough, and demanded well-calibrated, responsive policies. After malaria cases soared in the 1970s and 80s, in the 1990s the country’s anti-malaria campaign adjusted its strategy to intensively target the parasite in addition to targeting the mosquito.